Thinking of building HTPC $500 budget


I'm thinking of building HTPC for the living room. We have too much junk hooked up and I want to streamline our content a bit. Want to see how cheap I can build this thing and have it still run.

BTW, my goal is low cost to get going. But, I am open to upgrading some pieces after (except the case and Mobo if I can help it).


Antec 650w PSU (bought it for other build and didn't use yet)

HDTV + Onkyo receiver w/ HDMI, etc.

ATI Radeon 4350 512mb

So if possible, I'd like to use the PSU and GPU, but if not then that's ok.

Also, I'd like recommendations for keyboard and such, but those don't need to be included in my budget. :)


- Play our Blu-ray discs, DVDs (almost never though), and stored media files from our cameras and stuff.
- View pictures
- Listen to music files, podcasts, etc
- Watch online video (Netflix, Hulu, and so on)
- Play some games--->not talking latest & greatest. Stuff off of Stream that works with control pad and probably no FPS games.

Think that's about it.


We don't have cable/sat, so I don't need that stuff. And I don't need DVR capabilities.

Also, I don't need to worry about ripping/encoding. Got a workhorse for that stuff if I need it.


Probably looking at Windows 7 64-bit since the wife and kids need to use it easily.


- Not too concerned about the case's form. My goal is to just have my HDTV, receiver and this computer. I'm more concerned about function rather than looking cool.

- Will probably need WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities.

I was kind of leaning toward AMD and an AM3 MoBo, because if I upgrade the computer I'm on now at some point, I can throw this 955 BE into it. :D

Let me know if I forgot to mention something.
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More about thinking building htpc budget
  1. Here is a setup with a latest chipset board just in case you would want to upgrade...
    X3 440 + ASUS 880G - Actually you wont need the 4350 too as the onboard would suffice...

    RAM -

    CASE - This would be good -
    COOLER MASTER Elite 360

    Though you might not a PSU, but having a modular would be a good idea with small cases...
    Samsung F3 1TB + OCZ Fatality 550W

    If you want -
    BD Reader
    or BD Combo
    Or just a DVD

    Total - ~$392 not including the optical drive...
  2. I built mine quite cheap an used the Regor 245 and the 785g (predecessor to the 880g) and it is more than capable of HD playback. The large PSU will be a lot of extra power that you don't need, but it's up to you if you want to use it - I have a 380w and am just fine.

    I'd also suggest another option - i3 530 and an H55 board - the GPU on the CPU die is quite capable of HD playback as well and the power consumption is amazingly low.

    You should be able to find a BD reader for $50 - $60 when on sale. You will need the player/codecs for BD for playback in Win7.

    I personally like HTPC cases, but if does not matter, the CM case is a solid choice.
  3. huron said:
    You should be able to find a BD reader for $50 - $60 when on sale. You will need the player/codecs for BD for playback in Win7.
    One of the best, and least expensive software for BD playback is TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum. It integrates into WMC and works great.

    You can get it from newegg right now for $60:
  4. +1 rwpritchett; you can demo TMT3 for free for 15 days as well.

    A good link for setting codecs/playback: (if you need it...)
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